Belleville 2, Rochester 0; Belleville 4, Toronto 7

Another twosome of games to comment on. The up and down season of Marcus Hogberg continues, as in an unexpected start (Taylor was ill) he earned Belleville’s first shutout of the season, and in the following game got shelled before getting pulled (not all the goals were his fault, but he needs to be better). This struggle with consistency took him over a month to sort out in the ECHL while being a regular starter–how long it takes in the AHL remains to be seen, but no one should fear he’s another bust like Matt O’Connor (whose AHL struggles are now ECHL struggles–the NCAA FA hasn’t had a shutout at either level, incidentally)–it’s far too early to judge. McCormick missed this game because he was in Ottawa and the team missed him not at all.

Belleville 2, Rochester 0
boxscore
Shots: 26-33
PP: 0-3 (5-on-3)
PK: 0-1
Scoring chances: 8
Key saves: 9
The Goals
1. Flanagan scores short side as the Amerks goaltender goes down early and is slightly off the post
2. Reinhart empty-netter as Blunden flips the puck ahead and he wins the foot race

Notable plays: Gagne misses the net on a great chance from just above the hashmarks (first); great feed by Chlapik, but Paul shoots it wide (first); Sexton misses the net on a 3-on-2 (first); O’Brien shoots the puck over the net on a 3-on-1 (second); Chlapik hits the post (second); a weird penalty shot call for Rochester, but they hit the post (second); 2-on-1 but Paul can’t complete the pass (third); two of the scoring chances were off great feeds from Chlapik.

Belleville 4, Toronto 7

Unfortunately both McCormick and Blunden were returned to the team for this game (Jordan Murray also returned from injury–inexplicably he replaced the highly productive Ben Harpur on the first powerplay unit and helped it not at all).

I missed the first 10:34 of the game because it was not broadcast due to technical difficulties (I missed the first three goals of the game and 10 total shots on goal–3 by Belleville–but no penalties). This problem seems to have been in the arena because as of this writing I haven’t seen highlights posted. The BSens had a season high in scoring chances (one more than their 3-2 win over Rochester a month ago), but were sloppy defensively, didn’t get a great night from Hogberg, and were guilty (again!) of taking selfish and pointless penalties in the third period (more about that below). Tyler Randell, incidentally, scored his first goal against a goalie this season (39 games in)–another quality FA signing from Randy Lee.

boxscore
Shots: 25-30
PP: 0-3
PK: 3-4 (5 min major)
Scoring chances: 16
Key saves: 6/3 (keeping in mind I missed seven shots on Hogberg in the first)
The Goals
1. Toronto – point shot (I only have the BSens Twitter feed to describe it)
2. Toronto – tap-in or one-timer via a centering pass (as above)
3. Reinhart (no description provided)
4. Sexton bangs in Chlapik’s pass
5. Toronto – both Englund and Gagne are guilty of puck-watching as a rebound is banged in by an uncontested Marlie in the slot
6. Paul bangs in a rebound
7. Toronto – one-timer from the top of the circle
8. Toronto – one-timer from the slot
9. Toronto – Hogberg beat five-hole as he slides from post-to-post
10. Toronto PP – Taylor beat by a clean shot from the top of the circle
11. Randell scores on a nice feed from Reinhart

Notable plays: two great scoring chances were via passes from Chlapik (first); Burgdoerfer falls awkwardly and struggles to get off the ice, but returned (first);
Blunden shoots it over an empty net (second); Paul misses the net with an open side (second); Chlapik accidentally runs over a referee (second; he was fine); Sieloff misses an empty net (second); Blunden targets a Marlies’ head and is rightfully kicked out of the game (third; the org should have no tolerance for that, but we’ll just hear excuses from them); Gagne gets drilled (third; clean hit and he seemed fine); Flanagan hits the post (third).

I mentioned the dumb penalties and this is a season-long trend by the BSens–the players guilty of taking them are all “leaders”–Blunden, McCormick, O’Brien, etc. These are undisciplined, selfish plays and there have been no consequences from the coaching staff whatsoever. This approach is something we saw from Luke Richardson as well (vets could do whatever they wanted). There’s no excuse for this–there ought to be even less tolerance for veterans. It’s worth pointing out that in games where the BSens have given up two or few powerplays they are 5-1 on the season (giving up only 13 goals, which is far below their norm)–the arithmetic is pretty simple.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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